American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - 36

ConventionSec tion: Kentucky Oil & Gas Association
days, and include Biden administration
initiatives such as a new round of methane
emission control requirements on oil and
gas operations, a regulatory redefinition
of waters of the United States for Clean
Water Act oversight, as well as moves by
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
that complicate efforts to permit and
build pipelines.
" It's something new almost every day,
and I don't think that will change, " he
sighs. " The hostile work environment is
an impediment to activity that creates a
merry-go-round of bad regulations that
stifle our industry. We need a friendlier
regulatory environment to produce the energy
required to secure our nation and provide
reliable, affordable fuel and power. "
" Federal pressure to block pipeline
infrastructure is a significant obstacle to
our ability to move products to market, "
Bentley confirms. " There needs to be a
dramatic improvement in our industry's
ability to put infrastructure in the ground
to move hydrocarbons and products around
the country. There also needs to be a dramatic
improvement in access to capital
for both corporations and private companies.
Without those changes, I don't have
a lot of long-term optimism around fossil
fuels. If those improve, we can continue
to be a critical part of the energy solution
for the country and world. "
Legislative Matters
A more encouraging development coming
out of Washington deals with the
orphan well plugging program created by
HR 3684, the Infrastructure Investment
and Jobs Act that Biden signed in November.
Watts lauds Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the pivotal
part he played in helping ensure that package
included the orphan well language.
Even before KOGA urged Kentucky's
congressional delegation to support the
provision, Watts says McConnell knew
of the measure through efforts led by the
Independent Petroleum Association of
America. " We reached out to his office,
but his team already had the intuition
that this was very important to our organization
and industry, " Watts recounts.
" Senator McConnell was instrumental in
securing the vote for Kentucky to receive
$104 million to plug orphan wells. "
" That was not the first time Senator
McConnell learned of the challenge of
retiring orphan wells, " Bentley says. " It
helped that this was not something on
which he had to educate himself. Senator
McConnell's office has been very accessible
and open to listen to every issue we
bring to the table, " Bentley agrees. " Sometimes
challenges arise where, without
that level of influence, there would be no
way to reach an appropriate outcome. "
The measure is especially pertinent to
the Bluegrass State, Watts considers, because
figures from the Interstate Oil &
Gas Compact Commission show Kentucky
contains the country's greatest number of
documented orphan wells. " Kentucky has
roughly 14,000 of them, " he details. " The
Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas has
been instrumental during the last few
decades of organizing, categorizing and
finding these orphan wells, so we are in a
good position to receive federal funding. "
To ensure the funding reaches its intended
destination, Watts notes that the
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36 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - 4
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Cover3
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